Welcome and thank you for taking the time to meet me! We both probably agree that food is nourishing to the body but did you know that cooking, baking, and sharing what you’ve made will feed the mind, heart, and soul? That explains why I love watching people eat the food that I’ve prepared even more than just eating it myself. More importantly, it explains how cooking weaved itself into my 30+ year career as a high school teacher and guidance counsellor. While my math/science classroom and guidance office provided the setting for curriculum mandates, the kitchen was the perfect classroom to really connect with teens. I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of students and my most rewarding times were spent in the kitchen… cooking, baking, laughing, sharing stories, messing up, problem-solving, and then eating together as a family or sharing what we made with others. Without realizing it, I was trying to provide opportunities to feed their minds, hearts, and souls. What I didn’t realize was just how much the experience was filling my own cup! Now that I understand how vital this experience is for wellness, I am even more passionate about connecting with you and others in my favourite place. Yup… you’ve guessed it! The kitchen! I hope you like what I share and I can’t wait to meet you. No experience needed! Just bring a fresh mind, a tender heart, and hungry soul.
Marisa is the host and community producer for the successful series, Marisa’s Easy Kitchen on Cable 14, a local specialty channel of 130 000 subscribers. Now in its second season, the show continues to enjoy high ratings and viewership as it provides new and experienced home cooks with delicious family- friendly recipes that can impress any crowd. Based primarily on authentic recipes from Southern Italy from both her mother and mother-in-law, she shares other recipes that encourage a diverse palate.
Other broadcasts included Marisa’s Easy Christmas and two other series (Keep It Together – addressed timely strategies for mental, physical and spiritual wellness during pandemic and Arms Wide Open – showcased the successes of local immigrants and highlighted the experiences of newcomers).
Her passion for cooking has always been an integral part of her professional and personal life. Marisa believes that the kitchen is the perfect classroom to build wellness, confidence, purpose, and resiliency. Through food, she has promoted diversity and inclusion via cooking classes, livestreams and wellness events.
After 35 years in education, Marisa has recently retired. In her roles of classroom teacher. student success teacher, guidance counsellor and Head of Student Services, she has earned awards at the local, provincial, national, and international levels for her work in the areas of mental health, teen leadership, and volunteerism. Grateful for all her interactions with students, parents, and staff, she considers it a true honour and privilege to have been a teacher.
As vice-chair of the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton, she works collaboratively to provide hope, help and healing in our communities.
Recognized locally, provincially and nationally for her past initiatives on teen mental health, she strives to break stigma and bring awareness to the importance of mental wellness through education and advocacy. She continues to provide in-person or online presentations to promote wellness and self-care.
Committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, she continues to support various organizations for newcomers through presentations and workshops. Her work with newcomer youth has ignited a deeper understanding for the need to break barriers.
Having lost both her father and father-in-law to cancer, she is dedicated to the Terry Fox Foundation as site coordinator for Stoney Creek.
With a deep appreciation for the role of volunteerism, Marisa has organized numerous events that have raised $80 000 to local, national, and international organizations. She volunteers within her parish community and as a member of the Donnici Social Club Executive, she helps with various events that build community and pride for the Italian culture.
While she is busy with many endeavours, she is happiest spending time with her husband, four children and daughter-in-law, loveable dogs, Boomer and Peaches… and obviously, cooking!